Sub-assembly Parts in PartsBox

Sub-assembly parts in PartsBox represent the stock resulting from building projects. When a project is built, the stock of the corresponding sub-assembly part is incremented by the build quantity. These sub-assembly parts can then be used as components in other projects, enabling the construction of complex, multi-level assemblies.

Building Complex Products with Sub-assemblies

PartsBox's sub-assembly parts feature is particularly useful for managing the production of complex products that consist of multiple sub-assemblies and parts, each produced or sourced separately. Consider an example of building LED desk lamps, which are composed of:

  1. Control PCB
  2. LED module PCB
  3. Enclosure

In this scenario, you would create separate projects in PartsBox for each sub-assembly:

  • "Control Module v1.1"
  • "LED Module v1.3"
  • "Enclosure V1"

Each project represents a fully assembled submodule of the final lamp. After creating these projects, enabling the corresponding sub-assembly part for each one is a single click. Building these projects adds stock to their respective sub-assembly parts. Manual stock adjustments are also possible for items already in inventory.

Managing Final Product Assembly

With sub-assemblies defined and built, managing the final product assembly is straightforward. Create a new project for the complete product (e.g., "LAMP V1") and add the sub-assembly parts as components:

  • "Control Module v1.1"
  • "LED Module v1.3"
  • "Enclosure V1"

PartsBox calculates how many complete lamps can be built based on the current stock levels of the sub-assemblies. When a build of the final product is executed, stock is deducted from the sub-assembly parts.

Handling Interchangeable Sub-assemblies

In situations where multiple versions of a sub-assembly need to be treated as interchangeable (e.g., "Control Module v1.1" and "Control Module v1.2"), PartsBox's meta-parts feature provides a solution. By defining a meta-part containing both versions of the control module and using this meta-part in the lamp project, PartsBox treats the modules as substitutes for one another.

Advantages over Hierarchical BOMs

While hierarchical BOMs can be suitable for working with a single BOM, they can be limiting when managing production across multiple projects with shared sub-components. PartsBox's sub-assembly parts offer several advantages:

  1. Reusability: Sub-assembly parts can be included in multiple projects/BOMs.
  2. Version management: Multiple versions of a submodule can coexist, and BOMs can include any interchangeable version.
  3. Flexibility: Sub-assembly parts behave like regular parts, supporting attachments, stock management, low-stock alerts, attrition parameters, and inclusion in any project/BOM.
  4. Unlimited nesting: PartsBox supports multi-level assemblies with no limit to nesting depth.

By leveraging sub-assembly parts, PartsBox provides a flexible and powerful approach to managing production, enabling efficient handling of complex, multi-level assemblies and reuse of submodules across projects.

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